Writer's Digest: An IWSG Post

6:00 AM Elizabeth Seckman 54 Comments



My mom got me a subscription to Writer's Digest when I was twelve. Back then, I had zero appreciation for it. There were very few colored pictures and huge articles with many, many words. It simply couldn't compete with  Mad Magazine or Tiger Beat for my adolescent attention.

But she kept paying for them and eventually, I did start reading the articles. In time, I wrote my first novel and immediately shelved it. Same with the second. My third attempt, I saved on a computer disc that somehow got corrupted. All that work! It was lost before I had the chance to print it out and stuff it in a manila envelope. 

Fortunately, my dad was awesome with computers. I gave him the disc and asked him to see if he could recover my file. I should have known I couldn't trust my parents to rescue a file and not read it. My mom was instantly excited. All that money spent on Writer's Digest wasn't in vain. 

Immediately, she was my biggest fan, loudest nag, and best cheerleader through every insecurity. Last year, she passed away and it was an odd feeling, finishing a story and not having my mom to send it to. It was like I was done, but who cared? So, I closed the file and started another story. 

In a weekly Celebrate the Small Things post update, I mentioned I finished. I thought announcing I was done would spark something in my spirit to move the story from hard drive to publication, But it didn't. The odd feeling of "now what?" lingered. 

But then I got an email. Jo Wake, who is always gracious enough to beta read the roughest of rough drafts, sent a simple message...Why didn't I get to read the new story? 

I sent it straight away heartened by the reminder that as long as writers have other writers, we will always have support.    

 IWSG Day Question of the month: It's spring! Does this season inspire you to write more than others, or not? Not. Spring is when life starts to get busy around the Seckman house. Colleges empty and my boys head home for the summer. They have this strange idea that when they're home, I'll feed them...
Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh and this month's co-hosts: JQ RoseC. Lee McKenzieRaimey Gallant, & E.M.A Timar!


 Celebrate the Small ThingsTo be part of this blog hop, all you have to do is visit the Celebrate page on Lexa's Blog for the rules, and then post every Friday about something you're grateful  for that week.  It can be about writing or family or school or general life.  This is the funnest and easiest blog hop ever! (Originated by VikLit)

Boy #1, Caleb, is home from China. It feels good to have my baby back on American soil. 
Boy #2, Cole,  will be graduating from WVU and boy #4, Conner, will be graduating from high school in May. 
And all of them will be home next week! 

54 comments:

  1. Jo is like that. She'll prod you on.
    Enjoy having your sons all home.

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  2. You gotta love moms - they'll always be your biggest fan, as I'm sure you are to your boys. Enjoy your time with them.

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  3. Really nice post, Elizabeth. And I have to say, the mention of Tiger Beat brought back memories and made me smile. :)

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  4. I am so happy your boys will all be home soon. It sounds like Spring is looking pretty great for you. Yes, our writer friends help so much. I can't imagine where I would be without mine. Happy IWSG day.

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  5. I hated it when computer disks got corrupted. Oh it was a nightmare!

    How wonderful of Jo to email you. :)

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    1. Nothing like months worth of work gone in a flash!

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  6. I feel your pain. My mom isn't my biggest fan, but she was a huge support when I was getting my debut novel out. The idea of not having her there is a strange one, but my father passed away many years ago and I know what his absence has felt like in all aspects of life. It's amazing how many people there are in our lives, right? It's especially easy to forget when we're busy missing the ones who aren't there.

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    1. I think the missing is good, as long as we keep appreciating the living and keep making connections. It's too hard to do it alone.

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  7. You'll always thank her for Writer's Digest, she gave you a great start.

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    1. Yes, it was a great start. WD is a great place to get educated!

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  8. I love that your mom is your biggest fan and that you have someone asking you about the next book. I get that now and then, randomly, from different people. The last time was a friend, who I didn't even know had read my trilogy - she wanted the "next" book.
    Nothing is ready yet.
    But is nice to know that someone reads our work, right?

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    1. It is very nice to have people waiting for the next book.

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  9. It's good to have writing friends to prod us on. My mom reads everything I write, though I'm not sure if she can be objective about the quality ;-) Thanks for sharing.

    Ronel visiting on Insecure Writer's Support Group day: Autumn Decisions

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    1. My mom was pretty awesome at being objective. She was an avid reader and if she didn't like it, she never hesitated to say so!

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  10. That’s so cool that your parents recovered your draft and then read it! I once spilled orange soda on the word processor during an intense work session on a high school term paper. There was no recovery, but I think the term paper was pretty awful either way. Good luck keeping those boys fed & enjoy your summer.

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    1. That's how I console myself when things are lost forever...must not have been good and the universe was saving me from getting egg on my face.

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  11. Ah, thats so sweet of Jo. Its nice to have someone available to read what we wrote. Seems to make it all worth it. I read Writers Digest when I was younger, and still read when I think about it. The articles are fascinating. Good luck with the next novel :)

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    1. They are very helpful. I have a binder of articles that I've found most useful and tore out to save them.

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  12. A great community indeed. Sometimes one just needs a little nudge. Enjoy feeding all as they return to your hall.

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  13. Thanks for the mention. Didn't know I was a motivator, but I am so glad that I could help. I am enjoying your book at the moment, not too far into it yet though. Glad you have your boys home, will make you very busy though.

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    1. You're always the best motivator, Jo! Your no-nonsense consideration is always right on point.

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  14. It is beautiful that Jo reached out to be that but of a reminder that even though you mother isn't here, you still have a squad ready to cheer you on :-)

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    1. We all need a cheering squad. This is a frustrating career we're trying to manage.

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  15. The beauty of moms is that they can continue to inspire us for the rest of our lives:)

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  16. Yay Mom! She's watching from above, Elizabeth, so just keep writing!

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  17. Ha! Ha! Hope you feed your sons. And awesome that your mom read Writer's Digest when you were a kid.

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    1. I suppose she had faith that all my childish scribbles would lead to something.

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  18. I can just imagine how full of happy noise your house is gonna be next week.

    It's awesome that your mom started getting you "Writer's Digest" when you were so young. I'd say she had a lot of confidence in your writing ability. Confidence that was well-placed. I know you miss her support, but one of the nice things about IWSG is there are lots of people in your corner. Including me. :)

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    1. You were the best find, Susan! I am blessed by all the good people in my life.

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  19. Love the story! It's so awesome to have support at home.

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  20. How true. Supporting other writers and receiving support from other writers means a lot to me. Keep writing. Your mom even though not here on earth is still rooting for you.
    Enjoy your boys and their vacations.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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  21. Awesome story! Oh, Tiger Beat. I had all the posters of the Coreys everywhere on my walls. *LOL* Have a wonderful time with all your boys at home. :)

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    1. Ripping pages out of Tiger Beat was so much cheaper than buying posters.

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  22. Yay, Jo! I loved Reader's Digest! You must be so proud of your sons! Congratulations on all levels!

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    1. I am very proud of them. They work hard and have good hearts, a mom couldn't ask for more.

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  23. Moms are good at nagging. Also good at praising and encouraging. You're so lucky to still have your mom. Mine's been gone for 10 years but not before I became published. She was so proud. Enjoy the writing.

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    1. I understand how you feel, Diane. My mom passed away last year. Fortunately, she was alive when the first books were published too. And like some have mentioned, our moms are probably looking out for us from above.

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  24. Thinking of you as Mother's Day rolls around, with bitter sweetness.
    Enjoy your guys and some mai tais on the side, perhaps.

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  25. What a lovely story about your mom. I'm so sorry for your loss though. I'm sure she would be so happy that you're still writing. :)

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    1. If it was possible, she'd probably haunt me if I didn't keep writing. :)

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  26. It's nice to have someone who will provide a nudge of encouragement in your mother's place.

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  27. Hi, Elizabeth... CONGRATS.... Jo is such sweetie! IT is something to celebrate when a new "baby" is born. LOL.... I won't have that pleasure for a while. UGH. I've forgotten HOW HARD writing a novel is... Even with the best of characters, it's still HARD WORK> LOL....

    Enjoy the BOY this summer.... I know you will!

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    1. It is a lot of work. I ran the math once on how much I earn per hour of work on a book and it's sad. Good thing I do it for the love of it!

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